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How to create heart stopping tension in a novel?

How to create a heart stopping tension in a novel? Ok, carrying on from last week’s Blog. We are going to be exploring lots of different questions that you may have as a writer to help you on your quest to completing your next big seller. Here at Danu books, we want to be the source of knowledge that will help you get to the next level.

This week we look at the top 10 ways how to create heart stopping tension in a novel and will encourage the reader to read on:

1. Establish a clear threat: To create tension, the reader must understand what is at stake and what dangers the characters are facing.

2. Build anticipation: Use foreshadowing, symbolism, and other literary devices to create a sense of foreboding that something bad is going to happen.

3. Raise the stakes: As the plot progresses, continuously raise the stakes so that the threat becomes more serious, and the consequences become more dire.

4. Use pacing and scene structure: Vary the pace of the story and structure scenes in a way that creates tension and suspense. Short, intense scenes followed by slower, calmer scenes can be highly effective.

5. Develop complex characters: Complex characters with deep motivations, conflicting goals, and flawed decisions can create intense scenes, as readers fear for their safety and wellbeing.

6. Use sensory detail: Engage the reader's senses by using vivid details that evoke fear, anxiety, or adrenaline.

7. Include plot twists and surprises: Keep the reader on their toes by including unexpected plot twists and surprises that increase the tension.

8. Create a ticking clock: By setting a deadline or countdown, the tension increases as time runs out and the characters are forced to act quickly.

9. Limit information: Withholding information from the reader can create tension, as they struggle to understand the full scope of the threat.

10. Use cliff-hangers: End chapters or scenes with unresolved tension to keep the reader invested and eager to see what happens next.


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